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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Literature > Politics > Planet Of The Apes (1968/Fox Blu-ray)

Planet Of The Apes (1968/Fox Blu-ray)


Picture: B     Sound: B     Extras: B+     Film: A-



NOTE:  This single is also available in the Evolution Blu-ray box set, which you can read more about at this link:





We have previous reviewed the entire original theatrical film series in its Legacy Collection DVD set, which itself has links to our coverage of limited edition CD soundtracks to the sequels and the earlier 35th Anniversary DTS DVD Set:





Well, the third time is the charm for this classic that only gets better with age and has survived its horrendous remake.  Issued separately and as part of a 40th Anniversary Blu-ray box set, Fox seemingly decided to only send this first film to critics, but we received the whole set and all five look better than the previous DVDs and even offer some fine demo shots.  However, in this particular case, the film has a sometimes uneven look despite all the restoration and upgrading here because it has been worked on over the years since its importance brought Fox to start working on it early on.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 AVC @ 26 MBPS digital High Definition image proves that this was a better looking film than many have given it credit for being, but it tends to be a little choppy throughout in the quality of the footage used.  You can go from a soft cut to a sharp one and from remarkable depth and detail to footage that looks a generation or two down.  The reason is that like the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball, also on Blu-ray with the same issues, the film was such a hit that master materials may have been worn down or even lost.  Unfortunately for this film, it was a DeLuxe color release and not a dye-transfer Technicolor one, so color is definitely an issue here.  Though color can look much better here than in the DVDs easily in many shots, sometimes, it is weaker and needs some work.  Both were Panavision shoots and make for interesting comparisons on Blu-ray.


The DTS HD Master Audio (MA) 5.1 lossless mix here is also like Thunderball in that some of the reconstruction was done a while ago and has a 16bit PCM ceiling, extending to Jerry Goldsmith’s classic score, but while the new mix avoids some of the distortion of the DTS DVDs, dialogue sounds older and a little smaller.  The one upgrade that gives it an edge over the DVDs is the D-BOX bass encoding, though few have D-BOX in their home, it is a nice bonus to have here where it is missing from the DVDs.  Still, this is better than the Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono options and cleaner overall.


Extras include all the previous goodies from the DVDs and adds a few new ones exclusive to Blu-ray, which is more than enough reason to make the upgrade.  The original extras include the two feature length audio commentaries by Composer Jerry Goldsmith and Actors Roddy McDowall, Natalie Trundy, Kim Hunter and Makeup Artist John Chambers respectively, Text Commentary by Eric Greene and Author of “Planet of the Apes as American Myth”, Behind the Planet of the Apes Documentary – Includes all new interactivity and timeline, Behind the Planet of the Apes Promo (1988), Planet of the Apes Makeup Test with Edward G. Robinson (1966), Roddy McDowall’s on-set Footage, Planet of the Apes Dailies/Outtakes (Silent/No Audio), Planet of the Apes NATO Presentation (1967), Planet of the Apes Vintage Featurette (1968), A Look Behind the Planet of the Apes (from 1972), Original Theatrical Trailers, Original Sketches by Costume Designer Morton Haack, Photo Gallery, Planet of the Apes Timeline, Interactive Pressbooks, Vintage Apes Newspaper Galleries, Advertising and Lobby Card Galleries and a Behind-the-Scenes Galleries.


The new items include the “Beyond the Forbidden Zone” Adventure Game, Science of the Apes BONUSVIEW (only working on Blu-ray players with this capacity) – in which scientists, anthropologists and sociologists discuss the facts, myths and fiction of the film, A Public Service Announcement From ANSA in HD (this is a mission report from the agency regarding their ‘brave astronauts’), “Evolution of the Apes” HD featurette tracing the apes story from the original novel to the screen and “Impact of the Apes” - HD featurette on how to market a worldwide pop culture phenomenon.


You can get it separately like all five Apes films on Blu-ray (the sequels have new making of featurettes produced in High Def) or in a 40 Year Evolution Blu-ray box set noted above with a link that includes a new illustrated booklet.  For even more Apes, try the links to the two underrated TV series:


1974 Live-Action Series



1975 Animated Series




-   Nicholas Sheffo


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